Today’s Contributor: Carrie Schreiber
Carrie Schreiber is the Campus Innovation Coach at Fulmore Middle School. She teaches 7th grade Texas History and loves to use BLEND in her classroom.
I teach 7th grade Texas History and the last six weeks curriculum is chunked full of topical tidbits about how Texans contributed to American History in the 20 and 21st Centuries. I am always overwhelmed with the sheer amount of things I am supposed to teach and squeeze in a PBL unit.
Out of desperation, I came up with the idea last year to allow the students to teach the unit. I began by teaching them a simple lesson cycle: warm up, lesson, practice, and quick assessment. They then developed a power-point lesson with a handout for the Interactive Student Notebook. They signed up to teach their lessons and they loved it! Many of my students from last year have dropped by to ask how the lessons were going and comment that it was their favorite unit.
With the implementation of BLEND this year, I was able to take the unit from last year and streamline the ease of my work and the students. I uploaded a lesson on Primary Sources that the students needed to complete before they started their research. They then had to use google forms through BLEND to choose their topic. They created a share folder for myself and everyone in their group which allowed me to see their progress at any given time and help them along the way.
As they began presenting the lessons, I kept track of a table of contents for each class and a model ISN. After the students finished their lesson, I uploaded their presentation and handout to the module for that class period. Absent students or students who needed more time, were able to log into the module specific to their class period and complete the lesson. Some students even assigned BLEND homework for their classmates!
We have been using BLEND all year, but with 55 different lessons over 6 classes, this unit creates unique problems, such as six different lesson plans, table contents and student binders. Before BLEND, I had to keep up with all the extra handouts, who taught when, absent students… With BLEND and the ability to create a separate module for each class period and assign the lesson to just that class, I was able to organize the lesson so the stress level was greatly diminished. I have actually enjoyed the final six weeks immensely, seeing my students shine in their ability to research and organize their information.